Monday was a paint all day, paint all over your hands, paint on your split ends, drips of paint on your legs kind of day. And this is the reason.
I know, right? What are you doing CoCo! After searching for pieces of furniture to paint last week, I was making the final lap of The Warehouse when I spotted this workbench. I had no idea how big it was or what kind of shape it was in because I could only see one end of it. It was weathered, beat up and covered with bits of garden inventory. To be totally honest, it had been completely forgotten. It had been so forgotten, no one knew how much it was but they promised to find out and text me.
I left the store thinking, “Ok, it’s a holiday weekend, I probably won’t hear back from them until some time next week.” At 7:45 pm that same night I received a text with a price and measurements. Now that is customer service. Saturday morning, I headed out to pick it up.
More times than not I can look at a piece of furniture and tell instantly what color I will paint it and the type of finish I plan to use. But the only vision I really had for this one was to paint it white. It’s really a utilitarian piece. You could use it for a kitchen island, a work station, work bench, home school table, craft table, desk, or even to house outdoor grille supplies. I almost had too many options.
As you can tell, it was really filthy so my first step was to use a palm sander to take a bit of the grime off.
With each stroke of paint, I kept thinking about a potting station and once I had the base covered in two coats of Valspar’s Fluffy, it was settled.
I wanted to make sure the top remained somewhat weathered so I worked the paint into the wood with a cloth instead of a brush. You can do this with a brush too but for this type of project I like to use a terry cloth because it soaks the paint up almost like a sponge and I find it’s easier to control the amount of paint that’s being worked into the wood. This gives an inconsistent finish that I love especially during the sanding process. The top boards have not been sanded yet but look at all that chippy goodness on the bottom board.
I think all of the boards turned out really nice once they were sanded.
I wanted the top boards to be just a shade darker and with more of a gray tone than the bottom of the workbench. This came together with a combination of dark wax,
and a custom mix of colored grey wax.
The top board has the dark wax and the bottom board has the combination of the two waxes.
With the top and base of the workbench in place, it was time to tackle the very back plank. Still inspired by a potting station I chose the word “Herboriste” French for “Herbalist” or a sign you would see hung outside an herb shop.
I sorted through my stencils, found the letters I needed and traced each letter with a pencil after measuring the appropriate spacing.
This was the most stressful part of the whole process. I wanted to throw this entire workbench in the woods at least 7 different times.
I used black paint and a fine tipped brush to fill in the letters.
Once the black paint had dried, I distressed with a piece of 80 grit sandpaper and used the same custom wax to seal.
It took me all day to finish this because there were so many steps but it was totally worth it. I hope I can bring myself to take it to the booth.